SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A former "Melrose Place" actress convicted for a fatal drunken driving crash in 2010 faces a re-sentencing after the state appealed her initial sentence as too lenient.
A state appeals court on Friday ruled the trial judge must offer a more detailed justification for why he downgraded Amy Locane-Bovenizer's sentence to three years.
Locane-Bovenizer appeared in 13 episodes of TV's "Melrose Place" and in movies including "Cry-Baby," ''School Ties" and "Secretary."
She was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, assault by auto and other offenses and faced a sentencing range of five to 10 years on the most serious count.
At her February 2013 sentencing, the judge sentenced her below the prescribed range, citing the hardship on Locane-Bovenizer's two young children, one of whom has a serious medical and mental disability.
The sentence outraged friends and relatives of the victim, 60-year-old Helen Seeman, and the state appealed the sentence shortly after.
"The trial judge did not identify compelling reasons to downgrade defendant's second degree offense, other than the harm defendant's children were likely to experience as a result of her incarceration," the appellate judges wrote Friday. "He also found that defendant no longer posed a risk to the public, but neither the rationale for the conclusion nor the record support for it were fully stated."
Prosecutors said Locane-Bovenizer's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit when she smashed into a car driven by Fred Seeman, the victim's husband.
Witnesses testified Locane-Bovenizer had been drinking at two parties on the afternoon and evening of June 27, 2010. That night, she rear-ended another woman's car in Princeton Township with her SUV and sped off with the woman in pursuit, according to testimony.
She collided with the Seemans' sedan as Fred Seeman turned into their driveway in Montgomery Township. Prosecutors said Locane-Bovenizer was driving erratically and well over the speed limit just before the crash.